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The Difference Between Freight And Cargo

If you’re just starting out in the export business, or if you are looking to send a parcel overseas, you’ll notice there are a lot of terms to get to grips within the courier industry. Two of the most common ones are freight and cargo.

Both of these terms often get used interchangeably, though there are clear differences between each. In today’s post, we’ll be explaining the differences between freight and cargo to guide you.

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What Is Freight?

Freight has several meanings attached to it, depending on what sector of the transport or courier industry is involved. Typically, freight refers to commercial goods that are transported by train or a vehicle such as a haulage truck. For example, if you were in the entertainment industry and needed sound equipment transporting around the country via a large truck, this would be classed as freight.

However, you may have noticed when posting an item overseas that it is classed as ‘air freight’. That’s because freight also refers to cargo that is transported via a vehicle, train, plane or ship.

Therefore, the term freight can refer to products or merchandise when sending the item via truck, as well as the money charged when sending via air. Hence, it can be a little confusing to distinguish.

What Is Cargo?

Cargo is the term used for goods transported by ship or air. In addition, there are cargo ships that specifically transport cargo in large containers across the globe, making it much easier to distinguish cargo from regular freight. Usually, the shipments are much larger in size, with a good example being the manufacturing of goods being sent over from other countries.

When cargo is transported via air, it can either be flown on a plane that has been designated as a cargo plane, in which case it has no passenger seating or windows along the side of the aircraft, as the entire space is designated for transporting goods. A good example is a mail service such as DHL or FedEx, which regularly fly cargo planes across the world.

Alternatively, cargo can be flown in the undercarriage of an aircraft on a passenger plane. The sections are divided to contain a mix of both passenger luggage and cargo. The cargo itself can be passenger luggage (i.e for larger items such as cars or horses), or be commercial cargo such as fresh food that is being imported from one country to another.

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If you’d like further information about the differences between freight and cargo we’re here to help. In addition, as a courier service ourselves, we are able to transport your items for you covering a range of different services as listed above.

We have locations in Nottingham, Derbyshire, Leeds, Birmingham and London.

All we need is your postcode and the delivery postcode to get started. From there, you can select whether you need the item ASAP or whether you’d simply like to pre-book a delivery. We’ll then give you available vehicle options, along with a price and time frame quotation.

Take a look at our service and get in touch on 0115 9865276 if you have any questions. Or scroll to the top of the page to access our free instant quotation service.